Shoreham Chamber Choir’s innovative collaboration with the Churches Conservation Trust, a tour of five historic Sussex churches called Music for Summer Evenings, comes to a triumphant close at St Botolph’s BN44 3WB at Botolphs in the Adur valley on Saturday, June 15.
Spokeswoman Lena Urquhart said: “This will start at 7pm. and there is free entry, with donations requested towards the work of the Trust.
“The tour has been a joyous celebration of wonderful, varied solo and choral music in the amazing surroundings and gorgeous acoustics of these beautiful and precious churches. After a beautiful initial performance in St John’s Chichester, the choir went on to give similarly marvellous concerts in St Wilfrid’s Church Norton, Holy Sepulchre, Warminghurst and St Peter’s Preston Park.
“These were all attended by large audiences, consisting of a mix of people who either came specially to hear the Shoreham Chamber Choir, or were local people, eager to support an event in a building they clearly love.
“A most heart-warming feature after each concert was the noisy social gathering over refreshments, with locals and the choir discussing aspects of the performance or exchanging thoughts and impressions of each church or what it meant to them, often describing what an important part it had played in their lives. They were all united though, in their admiration for the buildings as they stand today, lovingly restored, and with unique features, such as the incredible ancient frescoes in St Peter’s Preston Park.
“It seems as if, although no longer used regularly for services, these historic churches are being restored to the living, beating heart of their communities by The Churches Conservation Trust, who have such a light touch in their warm encouragement of individuals and groups to use them for a wide range of events. These include concerts and gigs as well as circus acts and champing!
“The initial idea, a year ago, had been to take the Shoreham Chamber Choir to sing in just one out-of-the-way Sussex church, which turned out to be looked after the Churches Conservation Trust. From this, encouraged and aided by Simon Wiles of the Trust, it has grown into a wide-ranging tour of Sussex, from Chichester to Brighton, raising hundreds of pounds for the work of the Trust and making many new friends, as well as experiencing genuinely exciting performance spaces in these utterly gorgeous historic churches.
“The Shoreham Chamber Choir would love to encourage other people to take their event ideas to the Trust. They’ll find they receive a very warm welcome, both from them and the communities they encounter at each church.”